Year End Progress Report for 2012 Goals

This was another year of change as my father passed away on March 4th. I was still finding my way after the loss of my canine companion in November. Renovations to our lake house were underway and not completed until late June.  We gained possession of two boats only in late July, which took some time learning to use them, before we could get much enjoyment. I struggled to find motivation both to get physical and to do my writing.

Excuses made, I can now say that I did achieve some significant things in this year. I completed a first draft of a book, edited more than a years worth of images, totally updated my website catching up from 2010, and began using my camera again.

Get ‘married’ – Well, this goal was only achieved legally as living together in this province for more than three months moved us into a deemed ‘common-law’ marriage. We did resolve the largest hurdle in coming to agreement on our wills given this shared relationship and our respective concerns of looking after our children on our death. Seems morbid that this would have been in the way of our union but it is no longer a concern. Now, we need to find the right time and place.

Complete the Renovations to our New Home – We have completed everything of significance except improvements to the water system. Almost every neighbor has stopped by to tell us that the house now looks like it should have been built in the beginning. All visitors have complimented us on the changes.  We like the new spaces that we have created and enjoy being there.

Travel – In late December 2011, we made it out to Victoria, and then drove to Tofino to bring in the New Year with Ken and Tashi. I took sick on the last day and Dianne had to drive home all the way. She swears I only relinquish the wheel when I’m near death, and this incident only furthered her belief.

Dianne and I did take an Alaskan Cruise in May to attend the wedding of one of her brother’s son’s. She was the ‘officiate’ of the service. Although the wedding went well, and although we had three on-land stops with photography involved, we were disappointed in the trip because the weather was cold and wet, keeping us mostly inside and limiting our ability to get a good feeling for Alaska. The pending birth of Dianne’s first grandchild in late July/early August led to our cancelling a planned RV trip to Alaska.

We did go to Kananaskis in the motor home during the summer, to join Dianne’s family for a weekend.  Quynn joined us on that trip and travelled very well.  Dianne and I journeyed in the motor home to Drumheller in mid-September and totally enjoyed the fall colors and the Tyrell Museum. We received a sales pitch for an RV time share arrangement and made the decision it probably doesn’t work for us. We made the decision not to travel to Mexico by motor home in 2013, but have decided to go to California on a round trip that will take the five weeks allowed by Dianne’s vacation entitlement. Initial planning was completed in this year.

We travelled to Vancouver for a Watson family wedding in July, and this allowed m to make another short visit to Victoria. This gave an opportunity to visit with Brenda and to connect with Ken and Tashi. I had breakfast with Rick Roskin, and lunch with Jane and John Sterk, and Bob and Bobbie Carey before leaving for the drive home.

Continued Time with my Grandchild and Daughter – Up until the end of June, I was nanny to Quynn two days/three days per week on alternate weeks. Then, she began attending daycare five days per week in September, limiting my planned time to one night per week.

However, she has a propensity to catch every illness that is brought to the center by the other children, so I did have a significant number of days where I tended to her needs when she was sick. We were able to have her join us at the lake on many weekends to give her mother a break. In addition, I had her during two periods when her mother was travelling out of town.

In addition, she and her mother came out to the lake on several weekends during the summer and fall. They joined us, along with David and Kelly, out at the lake for the Christmas holiday. I got lots of Q-time during the year.

Time with My Son and Daughter-in-Law – My son surprised me in several ways this year. Because of a very painful injury, he was unable to qualify for the 2012 Olympics in London. I assumed that this would be the end of his career as an athlete at the age of 44, but he has apparently recovered, gained some new sponsors and is continuing to prepare for the coming racing season. He is training very seriously, including paddling on the Kananaskis River during heavy snowfalls. The river remains open for him to use because it is dam controlled, and they release water to generate power.

Secondly, he and Kelly decided to sell their home in Chilliwack B.C. and buy a new one in Canmore, Alberta, thereby moving closer to the rest of us in Edmonton. Aryn, Quynn, and I visited them in September during their first week there and they have a beautiful home in a wonderful environment.

Photography – The greatest accomplishment in this area actually involved dealing with past photography. I switched all my editing work to my Mac computer, bought and installed Lightroom as my major editing tool, and switched to Dreamweaver as my web development tool. Lessons from Florence Ross and Kathy Caine got me started with Lightroom and from Ray Rasmussen made it possible for me to use Dreamweaver. As a result of these changes, I completed post processing on all images shot in the last half of 2010, all of 2011, and all of 2012. I posted these images on the website, bringing it totally up to date as of the end of this year. Hurray!

I appreciate that few people actually look at the website but it does give a purpose to my photography. I can post what I shoot for whomever might choose to look, and it keeps a record of what I have seen from behind my view finder. I think I did meet my goal to add at least 20 new images to the Favourites section of my website.

My attempt to adopt the goal of taking pictures every day was abandoned after February, a month in which I missed a few days. I did get several photo-shooting vacations including the trip to Alaska, Jasper in late June and again in early September, Drumheller, Victoria at the beginning of 2012 and again in the summer. I got out to take pictures around the lake house during the harvest season. Although nowhere near the daily goal, I was satisfied with the amount of time that I did have for photography and the images I collected.

Writing – I was much more active writing this year but not as active as I had intended. During January and February, plus the first week of Mach, I did find time to write for at least one hour on any day that I was not looking after Quynn, and averaged over 1500 words per hour of writing time. This work focused primarily on the writing of a book on Smart Selling but did include some haibun writing. I completed more than 100,000 words and fourteen chapters of the book although this was first draft writing, so much revision was (is) still required.

In the summer months, I was able to return to revision and was able to revise the first four chapters before all work on the book stopped. I think I lost motivation after reading books and magazines on writing that discussed how difficult it is to get a book published, and after I found in my revision work that I was adding to as opposed to cutting work. Too much ego in the way I suppose. This stopping when I have made so much progress disturbs me because I believe the material has serious value and deserves to be shared.

The Haibun Writer’s Workgroup was revived by Lynn Edge, one of the group members, and she inspired me to rejoin and contribute once again. I think this was in September and I was very active writing haibun during the last quarter. I enjoy this participation and expect to continue. It would be very helpful if I would find a group that gave each other feedback about our book writing.

Physical Well-Being – I don’t think I could have failed any more in this goal area. Instead of finishing the year at my goal weight, I am well over where I started the new year of 2012. Instead of being active every day, I finish the year nursing a sore back - a back that is simply troubled because I have very little core strength. This comes from too much sitting at my computer or on my couch watching TV, instead of walking.

Summary - The year felt like a re-grouping year. My grief was less dominant in my life. My new partnership has found its own significant place in my life. I recovered from my creative lethargy, expressing my self in both my writing and photography. Quality needs to come but quantity is flowing again. I was able to get up-to-date on my website and that was a relief, and an inspiration to create new material for the site.  My head feels alive but my body needs work.

lingering cough
and achey muscles
new morning